Well, so much for predicting that the Steelers would stay on a roll! Jay Cutler finally found himself and outplayed the Steeler defense when it counted, a defense that misses Troy Polamalu even more than I’d feared. They play in Cincinnati today, and the Bengals look like they’ve improved over last year’s embarrassing effort. It’s going to be a tough game, but I still have to pick the Steelers to win in a shootout, 34-31. If they don’t beat the Bengals, they’re going to find themselves at 1-2 and looking at Bengal backsides for a good part of the season in the AFC North.
What about the other games around the league today?
- San Francisco at Minnesota – The 49ers have jumped out to a surprisingly strong start, powered by some old-fashioned running and a good defense. Minnesota has too many answers for the upstarts, but this should be a really fun game to watch. Brett Favre could make the difference here — in either direction, but I’ll pick the Vikes to win, 24-17.
- Washington at Detroit – Get ready for this, because I’m picking the Lions. They’re a better team than last year, although not a good one yet, and they played Minnesota tough last week. This will be the week they get off the schneid, 17-14.
- Kansas City at Philadelphia – Only interesting for the debut of Michael Vick, who becomes eligible this week. Hometown crowd will give him a full-throated welcome, and KC will roll out the welcome door mat for him. 38-14 Eagles.
- Tennessee at New York Jets – Tennessee really needs a win here, but they won’t get one. The Jets are for real this year, and at home, they will edge the Titans, 21-20.
- Carolina at Dallas – As much as I’d like to see the Panthers recover their wits and play the Cowboys tough, I just can’t pick them over the ‘Boys. Dallas gets its first win in their new stadium, a punt will hit the scoreboard, and Jake Delhomme will lost three picks in a 27-10 beating.
Update: Er, week three, not two.